Anirban Lahiri endured a testing day at the $7.3 million AT & T Bryon Nelson golf tournament as he was one-over through 16 holes when darkness stopped play in Irving.
Lahiri, who opened bogey-bogey, recovered with birdies on fifth and tenth, but a bogey immediately after that on 11th meant he was back to over par. Lahiri hung with pars from 12th to 16th when he had to stop because of fading light. He will return on Friday morning to complete his first round and then play the second.
“I played poorly today with the golf course softly. It was accessible and good to play. I was off my targets with my short irons and just did not take advantage of the conditions,” said Lahiri candidly.
He added, “Hopefully I can get some momentum going early in my round tomorrow and take it from there.”
Sergio Garcia, Danny Lee and Johnson Wagner shared the lead at 7-under 63, while Jordan Spieth had to rush to finish his first round in 64.
Spieth saw his eagle putt on the 16th stop just short of falling in for a share of the lead and then rushed to complete the final two holes before dark. Dustin Johnson and Freddie Jacobson matched Spieth with 64s.
Lahiri has had a very modest season, starting way back in November 2015 with the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. He has had four finishes in 20s, two in 30s and another four in 40s. He was T-17 at the Hero World Challenge, a limited field event.
He was also second at Hero Indian Open on the Asian and European Tour.
Time and again he has made a brilliant start as in Career Builder Challenge, Waste Management Phoenix Open and Wells Fargo, but admitted that he has not been to follow it up over the weekend.
Garcia played in the morning, and Lee and Wagner, like Spieth, were just able to complete the round that started two and a half hours late after early morning rain.
Tom Hoge, one of 30 players who have to finish their first rounds Friday morning, was 6-under through 14 holes. His only bogey was after he missed the green and then two-putted from 10 feet at the par-3 fifth, the last hole he completed. His final shot Thursday was an approach at the par-4 sixth, onto the green and 41 feet from the cup.
Garcia finished his round with eight consecutive one-putts. Wagner and Lee, the 25-year-old South Korean who lives in Irving and is playing on his home course, also were bogey-free.
Garcia had a quick answer for what he changed midway through the opening round when all of his putts started going into the hole, including a 60-foot eagle putt on the par-5 seventh after a 25-foot birdie putt the previous hole.
“Nothing,” said Garcia, the 2004 Nelson champion. “The hole got in the way. Simple as that.”